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of the country from which the displaced persons came to be able to detect whether that applicant was indeed, let's say a person who would be inadmissible to the States and others, in order to be able to detect his let's say his past activities.
Mr. EILBERG. Did not the U.S. Army have at that time a war crimes unit within the command?
Mr. DE CAPUA. Yes, I believe so.
Mr. EILBERG. What use was made of the records of this unit? Mr. DE CAPUA. Presumably, the CIC check or to the best of my orientation the counterintelligence automatically made use of the war crimes documentation.
Mr. EILBERG. The final report of the Displaced Persons Commission contained the following statement:
The thoroughness of the screening was reflected by the fact that of the 220,360 displaced persons admitted to the United States by January 31, 1951, not a single person had to be deported for reasons of the security. This same record, in fact, prevailed to the very end of the program.
In your opinion, would persons guilty of persecution of any individual because of race, religion, or national origin be included in the security reasons mentioned in the report?
Mr. DE CAPUA. You mean would they have been included?
Mr. EILBERG. Yes.
Mr. DE CAPUA. I would say yes, they should have been, yes. In other words, if, indeed, someone, it was turned up that a person would have been guilty of persecution or war crimes and subsequently discovered, then that statement is obviously wrong. That conclusion on the report is wrong.
Mr. EILBERG. And would you say at that point that that statement might be open to question as far as the admission of persons who should have been deported even though no deportations were effected? In other words, we know many Nazis entered the United States, but this report evidently was inaccurate.
Mr. DE CAPUA. Sir, we had an official, yes, I will say yes, in the affirmative, to that question, but I would like to remind the committee here that we had an official program, for example, called Operation Paperclip in which we went over and picked up engineers and scientists with common Nazi backgrounds and sympathies and worked in this country for years, and I am not excusing anybody that came under the Displaced Persons Act, but I am saying that we did have other programs in which we did bring in these people with these past memberships so Nazi membership per se was I don't think ever viewed in other programs with as much, let's say, disdain, or official disdain, as we did under the Displaced Persons Act.
It was an automatic exclusion in the Displaced Persons Act. Mr. EILBERG. Were displaced persons from Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and the Ukraine and other countries screened as assiduously as other displaced persons?
Mr. DE CAPUA. I would say yes, with the proviso, of course, or the caveat that we couldn't or we didn't get anything from the countries form which they emigrated. Records or checks on these people were based or limited solely to their, wherever we could check their movements, since they had come out of those countries. In other words, any area we could check, we tried to check.
Mr. EILBERG. Can you tell us something about the precautions taken against fraudulent or forged documents?
Mr. DE CAPUA. I can't recall any that were taken, sir. I don't remember anything specifically.
Mr. EILBERG. Would you support the reports from the Department of Justice that only one-twentieth of 1 percent, that is 60 of the first 120,000 displaced persons admitted were of questionable background?
Mr. DE CAPUA. I have nothing at hand or any empirical experience that would suggest anything else but that conclusion. Let me say I don't know, sir.
Mr. EILBERG. During yesterday's hearing, Mr. Almanza Tripp, head of the INS unit in Europe assigned to the Displaced Persons Act cited numerous instances in which cases determined to be eligible for admission under the act by the Displaced Persons Commission were turned back by INS for redetermination.
Mr. Tripp further stated that a good portion of those cases received adverse determinations upon reexamination.
Can you comment on this?
Mr. DE CAPUA. Did he specify, sir, that adverse determinations were for security reasons or is he talking about the whole bag, including medical reasons, because if he is including the latter, then there were a lot turned down; that is, there was a lot of need for redeterminations. But I think he would have to separate for you what he is talking about.
If he is talking about security risks then I think the number that were turned around might have been miniscule. If you are talking about the health and moral turpitude, then you have a bigger bag to talk about.
Mr. EILBERG. Mr. Tripp also stated in most cases of applicants under the Displaced Persons Act no personal interrogations were conducted prior to the INS stage in the screening process; is that accurate?
Mr. DE CAPUA. No; I don't believe it is, sir.
Mr. EILBERG. What did happen?
Mr. DE CAPUA. Well, as I mentioned, where we had on our staff a large number of people stationed in Hamburg, Schweinfurt, and Butzbach in Germany and in Bagnoli, and in Baden-Baden and people who were largely qualified and knowledgeable of an area, who could question cases, as particulary where we had any indication such as a denunciation or information from CIC or from the Berlin Document Center that indicated that this fellow might be a questionable applicant, these people were subjected to interrogation by our staff.
Mr. Tripp is wrong there.
Mr. EILBERG. Did you at any time during your tenure as head of security perceive any pressure being put on your unit by any other unit of the Commission or other Federal agencies to process cases quickly at the expense of conducting a thorough background investigation.
Mr. DE CAPUA. As I say, this was a high pressure organization. We were out to get a job done. There was pressure by any number of people, voluntary agencies. We had the typical or usual congres
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sional correspondence, but I cannot point my finger and say that one was any worse than the other.
I want to make the point here that I don't think it caused us, except in the instance we mentioned, we talked before, that we shortchanged anybody with a security investigation except for that BDC check, where they had the interim, where we were letting them go without the BDC check.
Mr. EILBERG. Mr. de Capua, we thank you.
Mr. Cook. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Just one question: On situations where you waived the BDC check and allowed the applicant to proceed to the United States, do you know how many of those persons subsequently were returned to their home countries or returned, were removed from the United States because of a negative BDC check?
Mr. DE CAPUA. I don't know, but I am willing to guess that it was an infinitesimal number.
Mr. Cook. Do you know of any?
Mr. DE CAPUA. I couldn't identify one. But I am almost certain there were some which were brought back. Now, in my view, the BDC check, the Nazis had a very excellent organization information organization, probably the best tool that we inherited from the Nazis was the Berlin Document Center.
It did a very good job of identifying people who were in specific military, paramilitary, and political organizations, the Nazi Party, Fravenenschaft, Bund Deutscher Maedchen and so forth. It was also excellent in that it identified for us Americans who voluntarily came back to Germany from the United States and were writing letters to the Fuhrer, the Rueckwanderer Zentrale. But what it didn't do, if my memory serves me correctly, was identify in too many instances those people whom the first witness identified or rather mentioned, those people who worked voluntarily for the Nazis throughout the Reich at the time. Whether it was as CAPO in Dachau, or whether it was somebody that was working as a guard or what have you, or volunteers, some of them who volunteered to work in Germany and collaborated with the Germans, it didn't do that job.
That is the sort of information we had to develop through CIC sources, many of the sources were from
Mr. Cook. Is that the only check that was ever waived under your procedure?
Mr. DE CAPUA. That is as far as I am concerned.
Mr. Cook. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. EILBERG. We have had 3 days of rather extensive hearings on the question of alleged Nazi war criminals.
I believe that most of the witnesses have been sincere in their testimony and for that and their appearance, we wish to thank them.
The preliminary conclusions I can draw from these hearings are: One, it is obvious to me that we have only really scratched the surface of this problem. The efforts we have made since 1973 will have to be considerably reinforced.
It is my intention to press the Special Litigation Unit to be more aggressive in pursuing their investigations and their prosecutions.
I can assure you that we will continue to exercise close and continuing oversight over the activities of that unit. We will follow each case with the utmost of care.
Two, it is also obvious to me that the involvement of U.S. Government agencies was more extensive than we originally were led to believe.
We will follow this aspect of the investigations with diligence in an effort to get to the bottom of this situation. We will press INS to continue its exploration of these agency files in the development of their investigations and prosecutions.
Our subcommittee will continue to make its own independent investigation of all aspects of this problem.
Three, I am more convinced than ever that we must bring before this subcommittee representatives of these agencies so that we can hear directly from them about their actions, their motives, and their rationale for using alleged Nazi war criminals.
I am sure that the hearings have given us a more firm background on what happened in the past so that we can go on from here to resolve this question over and for all.
With that, the hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 12:50 p.m., the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and International Law adjourned.]